The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merril Block This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

October 1, 2009
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The Story of Forgetting
The novel by Stefan Merrill Block is a mind changing and intriguing piece of work that gives readers an opportunity to view one situation through different eyes. The author’s way of incorporating his own story was adequately accompanied by two others which at the end of his novel reveal to be more than just three individual situations. If the author would have simply given a narration of his own life and of what he lived through with his family, it would not have been a finalist in the 2009 Indies Choice Book Awards for best author discovery. And not only is the novel successfully written, Stefan Merrill Block also does something which reinforces the entire novel. He gives the reader credible sources of information through his personal scientific and medical research like “My Father’s Brain” by Jonathan Franzen and “Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer’s,” by Thomas DiBaggio among other citing.

The way Stefan Merrill Block portrays the three different views on what would commonly be viewed as the worst heart breaking condition a human being can suffer, convinces us that there is far better ways to approach such condition, early onset Alzheimer’s. The first one is seen through his mother’s personal suffering. The mental regression the author describes to us is devastating to them as a family, inevitably moving our hearts as if truly relating to them as more than just the characters in the book. Stefan Merrill Block also makes sure to cover a middle ground for the one’s who find it rather difficult to find sorrow within their heart. He takes the story of the Duke of Iddylwahl, England and his actions as the consequence of his progressing illness in a comical and satirical manner explaining how his forgetful mind got him the concession to sleep with basically all of the women of his town. Now having early onset Alzheimer’s seems to be less than the worst possible thing on the face of the earth. This way, the author makes his way to his last perspective; the fictional tale of Isidora which is pursued by characters like Seth and Abel. You see, Isidorian’s do not hold any kind of memory retention. What they do one day, is simply done in order to forget the next day. They do not know death, they do not know feeling unless it is transmitted through their physical connection, and their lack of memories is so unfathomable that they do not even know they are called Isidorian’s. Now you wonder why these characters are in constant search of this state of mind, if it can even be categorized as one? Simple, they find escape from their current reality this way. Not thinking or not being fully aware of the occurrences around them is a far better state of mind than realizing that what you have learned as a sole individual in your life time is being stripped away from you with out your consent or your permission. And the story continues to unfold with great excitement and anticipation.

“As medicine alters life expectancy and genetic testing for the disease predicts destiny, these subjects invite new attention. Janet Maslin-New York Times” The work of Stefan Merrill Block is bound to open your eyes to a whole new way of looking at situations in life while simultaneously providing an intriguing plot and unexpected connections between the stories and their respective characters. When your life appears to be coming to its end with an unexpected turn your life takes, it may just really be turning into the beginning of a whole new one; a world with more than just one door to be opened and with more than just one destiny to chose from.

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BellaEzrebetFang This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 1, 2009 at 7:24 am
A peculiar situation for a teen book, Alzheimer's. I think I shall definitely look into this one. Thank you for this article. :]
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